The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology

The Blackwell Dictionary of SociologyThis new edition of Allan G. Johnson’s one-volume sociology dictionary includes 75 new entries, as well as an expanded biographical section, extensive revisions and updates, and a more thorough cross-referencing. Written by a sociologist who is also an accomplished writer and teacher, it is aimed primarily at students, but will also be of use to professionals looking for an introduction to core concepts outside their area of expertise. Its combination of clear prose, engaging examples, a single author’s voice, and its minimal assumptions about the average reader’s prior knowledge of sociology and its related fields, makes this a unique and valuable reference work. (from the publisher)

For an excerpt from the Introduction and sample entries click here.

To purchase The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology:
The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A Reader’s Guide to Sociological Language, 2nd edition, is available online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or through your local bookstore.

Praise for The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology:

All praise to Allan Johnson for this fine second edition of the very best portable dictionary of sociology. Clear and knowing, it skillfully anatomizes the concepts basic to a sociological understanding of social life. It belongs in every college and public library and in many a personal library as well.”  Robert K. Merton, Columbia University

Intended to serve as a guidebook, this dictionary is so well written that it could also be read cover to cover. All public libraries should have a copy of this work in their reference sections.”  Libraries Unlimited, American Reference Books

Inexpensive, with an attractive format, this dictionary would be helpful for sociology students and would make a good, if not essential, addition to library collections.”  P. Flaherty, Eastern Kentucky University

Here is a book that every academic library and every department of sociology should own. In an ideal world in which cost was no object, each sociology student – graduate and undergraduate – should also have a copy. The author’s short opening essay is clear and valuable. Johnson explains the relationship of a discipline’s vocabulary to the discipline and to the portion of the world that makes up the subject matter for study. This alone would be an important understanding for undergraduates to have. He also explains the limitations of a desktop reference book. The limitations are not highly visible. Johnson has chosen his vocabulary items well. Every word I looked up was there. Unlike earlier dictionaries of the social sciences, this one includes methodological and statistical terminology. His essay definitions are very good, and closely representative of the discipline (not idiosyncratic). He precisely grasps the distinctive elements of each concept. Each item has at least one reference to a source book; each definition includes various cross-referencing concepts. Unexpectedly for an alphabetized dictionary, there is an index to help further in cross-referencing and finding embedded topics and names. And the publisher can take credit for a clear layout, a good choice of paper, and a very profession al look. Finally, there is an interesting section of over 150 biographical sketches. Both genders are well represented, and the material is extremely cogent.”  William Wentworth, Contemporary Sociology

It is a portable dictionary that will help undergraduates and others interested in understanding the central concepts of sociology by offering them a representative sampling of some specialized areas within the field and some important concepts from related disciplines – such as Authority, Feminism, and Teleological Explanation. This is unique in one respect. The others are edited collections of entries composed by many writers, but Johnson wrote this entire work in an effort to present the whole conceptual framework with one continuous voice.”  Booklist

I found this dictionary very valuable. I passed it around my Sociological Theory class so everyone could read its definitions and the section on major theorists, and we all found it a wonderful resource that provides solid definitions, as well as concise reviews on every theorist I have ever heard of. I wish I would have had this when I started my major.”  Amazon.com customer, Sonoma State University